You don't have to be the lead hero or heroine, or even a Thanos to be the most memorable part of a film. Sometimes, even a supporting role or a cameo (think Akshay Kumar in Om Shanti Om) may also be enough to make you associate that role the most with that film. And yes, we end up calling them 'scene-stealers', which even in the pandemic-affected Bollywood of 2020, also have enough to offer us. From Bhumi Pednekar’s Dolly Kitty Aur Woh… to Barun Sobti’s Halahal, 10 Hidden Movie Gems of 2020 on OTT Space That Deserve Your Attention!
In our roundup of year-ender features, we have already covered our favourite web-series, Hollywood films and Bollywood movies. Now in this special feature, we pick our list of 20 actors who stole the spotlight in a movie, even if they were not cast in the lead roles, to the point that some of them made some really bad movies bearable (and the good ones even better)!
Gulshan Devaiah in Ghost Stories
It takes a special type of performance that manages to stay in the viewer's notice without getting recognised. Gulshan Devaiah's werewolf act in Ghost Stories is just that - more than the fantastic makeup, it is the mannerisms that the actor brings which makes the part so terrifying!
Yagya Bhasin in Panga
Not all child characters are deemed to be irritating (hello Anjali from KKHH!) - there are some sparkling ones like the precocious little Bhasin in Kangana Ranaut's Panga, who manages to owen every scene in, despite the terrific actors surrounding him.
Nora Fatehi in Street Dancer 3D
Nora Fatehi's sizzling dance moves (total "Garmi", I must say) makes us wish she was the actual lead in a movie that deserves more of her swinging hips!
Kunal Kemmu in Malang
After impressing as a villain in the multi-starrer Kalank and being the best thing about the film, the underrated Kunal Kemmu repeats the same feat in 2020 with another grey role in this Mohit Suri thriller. Bollywood, it is time to give this man his due!
Randeep Hooda in Love Aaj Kal
He may be barely promoted before the release of the film, but Randeep Hooda turned out to be the most memorable part of Imtiaz Ali's updated take on romance. In fact, viewers claim that Sara had more chemistry with him, than her supposed lover in the film, played by Kartik Aaryan.
Neena Gupta in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Neena Gupta 2.0 is on a rollicking form. If she was on fine mode as herself in Masaba Masaba and as a absentee panchayat head in Panchayat, then in this same-sex romcom, she steals the show as the mother who doesn't know how to cope with her son's sexuality, getting away with the best lines and scenes.
Ratna Pathak Shah in Thappad
The great Ratna Pathak Shah can not only make Maya Sarabhai so sassy, but can also pull off a meek Monisha Sarabhai if she wants, as proven in this Anubhav Sinha film.
Pankaj Tripathi in Angrezi Medium
While Angrezi Medium is fondly remembered for being Irrfan Khan's swansong, Pankaj Tripathi gets to be a huge highlight in the with his hilarious one-scene cameo.
Rohan Joshi in Axone
Rohan Joshi's character in this Netflix indie flick is that one friend in our gang whose annoying intrusions we only bear because of his or her good heart. And the actor does a good job of pulling that off!
Srishti Shrivastava in Gulabo Sitabo
In a cast filled with heavyweights like Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana and Vijay Raaz, it takes a strongly talented performer to get stand out and get noticed! So Srishti Shrivastava, please take a bow!
Chandrachoor Rai in Kadakh
Rai only appears in the opening sequence, but his performance of a man driven to suicide over his wife's infidelity remains in your mind even after the movie is over!
Paoli Dam in Bulbbul
It is the class in this Bengali actress' performance (and the writing that supports her) that Dam's character is not made into a vamp, but a tragic figure on its own seeking solace in a patriarchal household that has abused her without her realising so.
Aditya Shrivastava in Raat Akeli Hai
As the arrogant politician, CID fame Aditya Shrivastava manages to dominate the screen in this well-written dark mystery drama with enough panache.
Sanjay Mishra in Bahut Hua Samman
The wonderful Sanjay Mishra is an absolute blast as the conman with leftist ideologies and witticisms, and even getting to be an action hero, wielding two guns at a time!
Kunaal Roy Kapur in Foot Fairy
This Memories of Murder-inspired serial killer thriller has Kunal Roy Kapur play a creepy cafe owner with a fetish for feet! Whether he turns out to be the killer or not doesn't matter, as Kapur absolutely pulls off the role by bringing in the required weirdness while leaving his intentions in the dark.
Sharad Kelkar in Laxmii
While he is regal as Shivaji Maharaj in Tanhaji, Sharad Kelkar's best performance of the year came playing the transgender Laxmi in the Kanchana remake. His fantastic performance actually makes us see why Akshay Kumar's similar act in the film falters feels so caricaturish.
Pearle Maaney in Ludo
Ludo may have an ensemble cast with some good actors, but Bollywood debutant Pearle Maaney manages to stand out easily as the Malayali nurse who can't speak English. And how can we forget her dance wildly to Neram's "Pistah"!
Arshad Warsi in Durgamati
Durgamati might be a weaker clone of an already flawed Telugu horror thriller, but Arshad Warsi's negative turn as the shrewd politician is an easy highlight in the film. With a strong performance in his OTT debut Asur, Warsi continues to show that there is still untapped potential in the actor.
Rehan Shaikh in Torbaaz
There are some naturally talented kids in Sanjay Dutt's Netflix film, but Rehan Shaikh's Sadiq manages to outshine them, and even Dutt, with a very cheeky performance!
Harshvardhan Kapoor in AK vs AK
Playing an exaggerated version of himself (or was it?), Harshvardhan Kapoor's cameo is one of AK vs AK's best parts. The scene where he dramatically enacts his own spin to Kashyap's movie is hilarious and makes you see the actor in a wholly new light!
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 24, 2020 07:49 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).